The University of Dallas volleyball team struggled this past weekend at the Austin College Tournament in Sherman, Texas. Every team they faced this weekend brought more intensity and competition than the teams they played in last weekend’s tournament. The team knew this weekend would be more of a challenge, however, they had hoped for a much better outcome.
Last Friday night, the team set out to play back-to-back matches. Their first match against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor ended in a quick three sets (25-27; 14-25; 15-25). The girls were not pleased with their performance, and they knew what needed to be done to improve their results in the following match. The Lady Crusaders then took on Hardin-Simmons University, with another tough fight in sight. Dallas once again fell in three sets (25-27; 22-25; 19-25). Although the team was upset following the loss, they were more pleased with their performance, having brought more intensity and energy to the second match. In this match, the passing was more precise, while the Lady Crusaders also made fewer errors.
Hoping to bounce back, the team returned to Sherman on Saturday for two more matches. The team faced greater challenges in matches against the University of Texas-Tyler and Howard Payne University. The Lady Crusaders started off slow and lacked energy in their first match against UT-Tyler. The team struggled with defending the court and getting the ball back on serve receive. Then Dallas pulled itself out of a hole, only to return again. The rollercoaster match ended in a four-set victory for UT-Tyler.
The final match of the weekend, against the Howard Payne University Yellow Jackets, was a lengthy five set struggle, with the Lady Crusaders hoping to earn a win from the weekend. With the Yellow Jackets leading the game two sets to none, the Lady Crusaders notched two set wins in the third and fourth games. UD got off to a slow start in the fifth game, having a difficult time returning serves. After battling it out, hitting aggressively, and fighting for good passes, Howard Payne prevailed 15-10 to take the game by a score of3-2. “We went into the tournament thinking that we would do better than we did,” said junior Amanda Kitten. “Now we realize that we need to make some changes in our practices and in our competitive mentality.”
Although this weekend’s losses brought frustration and confusion, the team learned lessons of the importance of mental strength and focus. Practice this week will be focused on minimizing errors and making plays. These practices will be focused towards next weekend’s games. The team returns to their home court on Saturday, Sept. 17 with matches at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Come support your Lady Crusader volleyball team!